5 die in Madurai hospital after power failure

Five patients on ventilator support died at Madurai Government Hospital due to an unexpected power failure. After the incident, the kin of the deceased patients sat on a dharna in front of the hospital seeking action against the apathy of the officials concerned. Refuting the charges, Director (Medical Education) Dr A Edwin Joe said the ventilators were alright as these had built-in batteries. Among the five who died were Malliga (58), Palaniammal (60) and Ravindran (52).

Dean Vanitha said the patients, who were in the ICU, died of natural causes. The dean said it was a sheer coincidence that the electricity supply was disrupted at that time.While admitting that there was a power failure between 6.20 p.m. and 7.20 p.m. and the two generators malfunctioned, she said that each ventilator could function without power for at least an hour due to battery backup. “The ventilators are serviced every two weeks and reports are submitted to me regarding the equipment,” she claimed.